2005 Scholium Project - Cena Trimalchionis Farina Vineyards 750ml

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VF 98   IWC 89   Collector 91
2005 Scholium Project - Cena Trimalchionis Farina Vineyards Front View
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Professional Reviews For This Wine

Vinfolio | Rating: 98

This wine was the highest scoring white wine included in Vinfolio's 2007 Top 25 list. For those who want to experience some of the most adventuresome wines in the market, Abe Schoener's Scholium Project is your adrenaline fix. They continually amaze and lead to contemplation of what one should look for in wine.

When first tasted in January 2007, I gave the wine 94 points, comparing it to the profoundly stunning sibling La Severita di Bruto (VF 98), harvested from the same site. Here is what I said then: "Having been there at the conception of this wine when it came into the winery to now witness its birth has helped bring the Scholium Project experience full circle for me. This is the first wine I have ever described as "psychedelic." The Farina fruit came into the winery in 2005 in two distinct lots. Clean, perfect fruit (La Severita di Bruto), and botrytised fruit (Cena Trimalchionis). I tasted both separately and when drinking the Cena now, I experience the full lush richness in the nose without the corresponding weight on the palate. It is about as close as you can have to an out of the palate experience with wine." A follow-up tasting six months later shows a fairly dramatic change in the wine's delivery that led me to re-evaluate.

Bright golden in color, with exotic aromas of tropical fruit and spices. The body is viscous with tactile mass leading to a palate of grapefruit sorbet, splashed with sea salt, shortbread and nectarine. The finish lasts for over a minute.

Author: Vinfolio Team
Issue: 150

Professional content appears courtesy of Vinfolio

International Wine Cellar | Rating: 89

($60; 100% sauvignon blanc; from botrytized fruit) Full medium-deep gold color. Exotic aromas of orange marmalade, apricot and honey. Dense, thick and distinctly high-toned (the VA is over 1.0), but given shape and energy by powerful acidity and its strong (80% new) oak character. The long finish shows a pronounced phenolic character but the wine comes across as juicy and clear. A good example of what winemaker Abe Schoener seeks out: "special vineyards that allow me to harvest very ripe fruit with high acidity." Schoener suggests pairing this idiosyncratic wine with foie gras, grilled eel or goat cheeses.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 132

Professional content appears courtesy of Vinfolio

Collector Reviews For This Wine

Author: Dan McD
Trust Rating: 93
Tasted On: 02/22/2008
Drink Dates: 2007-2009

Rating: 91
Author: UncleHeavyDude
Trust Rating: 98
Tasted On: 12/16/2007
Drink Dates: 2007-2020
Very interesting. Bold but also refined. The honey/caramel/butter notes contrast very nicely with citrus acidity.

Average rating: 94, based on 4 reviews

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Collector Data For This Wine

228 bottles owned by 86 collectors.

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About This Producer

The Scholium Project, made by Abe Schoener, pushes the envelope of expectation in wines, producing esoteric varieties from somewhat obscure vineyards througout northern California. Schoener, who completed his graduate work in Ancient Greek Philosophy, concentrated on Homer. His label's name translates to "school, schooling" from Greek, and signifies an undertaking for the sake of learning, paralleling his winemaking journey. Schoener took a sabbatical from teaching in 1998 to work as an intern at Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in Napa Valley before moving on to work in the cellars of Luna. He then began the Scholium Project in 2004, entitling wines using proprietary names rather than varieties. In the cellar, Schoener allows his wines to take their own natural course by leaving them undisturbed in the barrel, not sulfuring or topping off - instead he allows the fermentation to develop a ripeness particular to wine, not fruit. Scholium Project wines are extremely limited in production.

See other similar producers: Sine Qua Non, Hartwell Estate, Miner Family Vineyards

Wine Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc

Crisp, tart and possessing striking acidity, these wines are best drunk in their youth. Some of the best Sauvignon Blancs are produced in the Loire Valley (Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume) and New Zealand. White Bordeaux blends add Semillon to Sauvignon Blanc to mellow out its sharp, grassy flavors. Sauvignon Blanc (translated to "white savage") has maintained its wild growing habits, which if left untamed, can lead to flat, vegetal profiles in the finished product. Because of this, Sauvignon Blanc grapes must be carefully cultivated in well-drained soils. Sauvignon Blanc is sometimes referred to as "Fume Blanc" in California and is used internationally for dessert wines as well. Typical descriptors for dry Sauvignon Blanc include citrus, gooseberry, freshly cut grass, minerals, stone and tropical fruits.

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